Community Needs Assessment helps move Ky. forward

If you have an interest in the future of your community, please take a few minutes to fill out the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service’s Community Needs Assessment.

Available online at http://bit.ly/KYExtension, the needs assessment helps us start a discussion with local residents about issues you find important and prioritize the needs of our community. In extension, we have always used local input to develop our programming, but this is the first time we have formalized the process.

No prior knowledge of the Cooperative Extension Service is required to complete this survey. You’ll answer a series of questions related to many aspects of the community. These questions include topics such as health, public infrastructure, agriculture and youth.

Your responses are confidential and will be analyzed by UK’s Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky. Each county will receive personalized results from the assessment. County extension agents will use the responses to help develop new and innovative programs to tackle local issues and address community concerns. Extension has long been known as a great unifier within Kentucky communities, and we will also use survey results to develop collaborations and start discussions with different community leaders and organizations about ways to address issues that are important to our community members but outside the realm of traditional extension programming.

If you do not have computer access, you can complete a survey by visiting the Bell County Extension office. The deadline to complete online and paper surveys is Oct. 26.

As part of the assessment, extension is also hosting local focus groups to further discuss potential needs of our community. If you have a strong feelings about some aspect of our community, you might be interested in joining one of these groups. To join, contact the local extension office. Focus groups will meet periodically until Dec. 14.

Rebecca Miller is the Bell County extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin. Source: Hayley Pierce, extension marketing manager and Melody Nall, CEDIK engagement director.